Pay day data delayed reveals how grads did

A new analysis of graduate income data is less a lagging than late indicator

A report on graduate earnings, released Friday, is based on Australian Tax Office records for the higher education loan programme from 2017-18 and examining records one, five and nine years prior.

It appears the timing is due to 2018 data being the latest the ATO would release to education department officers.

This means the big experience shaper for graduates tracked was the GFC, making the numbers interesting but not especially helpful for HE planners working on what t do (hopefully) post pandemic.

Although, the data is from times-past much seems likely to remain relevant, if unsurprising, to contemporary experience, such as;

* graduates with the highest earnings one-two years out were in medicine, dentistry, teaching, engineering and nursing

* lowest earnings were in science and maths (most likely to still be studying)

* combined generalist degrees are positive for earnings, but vocational degrees aren’t

* graduates with lower initial incomes catch-up

And in a repeat of regular news for institutions which use straight out of uni income figures in promotion, the new report states, that distance providers do well, because many of their students, “typically have an ongoing relationship with an employer while studying which confers a ‘head start’ in the labour market upon graduation resulting in higher incomes immediately following graduation.” In contrast graduates with lowest early incomes are often undertaking further study.”